Gold-collar worker

Gold-collar worker (GCW) is a neologism which has been used to describe either young, low-wage workers who invest in conspicuous luxury (often with parental support) [ [ - New 'gold-collar' young workers gain clout ] ] , or highly-skilled knowledge workers, traditionally classified as white collar, but who have recently become essential enough to business operations as to warrant a new classification.

Low wage, luxury seeking

These are 18 to 25 year-old persons in a position to divert a significant portion of their earnings towards material luxuries. They typically have fewer than 2 years of post-high school education. Like their counterparts attending college, they are often employed as retail workers or in the hospitality industry, particularly food service as servers. Unlike college students, though, this group tends to have more disposable income than college students, who pay high tuition costs and often move away from their parents. A lack of financial obligations leaves young people in this situation with a higher enough level of discretionary/disposable income, which they use to finance luxury goods. Thus, the term also carries a connotation of immaturity, as in the movie "Failure to Launch", where a man still lives with his parents despite being well into his 30's and owning a business. In the UK the expression 'two-bob billionaire' is used.

The main challenge faced by gold-collar workers is the short-lived nature of their financial security. More often than not, these people marry and have children, and take on additional financial responsibilities such as mortgages and health insurance. With partial or no higher education, however, their job prospects are narrow.

These people are going to be cash-rich 19-year-olds and cash-poor 30-year-olds... If you're making 22 grand a year and not paying for college, you can earn enough disposable income to have an apartment and a car. But it tops out there. Job security is not good, and you end up in the lower middle class and working poor.
"-Anthony Carnevale, National Center on Education and the Economy"

Highly skilled, highly valuable

It has been reported that the term 'Gold-Collar worker' was first used by Robert E Kelley in his 1985 book [ The Gold-Collar Worker: Harnessing the Brainpower of the New Work Force] . Here he discussed a new generation of workers who use American business' most important resource, brainpower. A quote from the book summary states, "They are a new breed of workers, and they demand a new kind of management. Intelligent, independent, and innovative, these employees are incredibly valuable. They are lawyers and computer programmers, stock analysts and community planners, editors and engineers. They are as distinct from their less skilled white-collar counterparts—bank tellers, bookkeepers, clerks, and other business functionaries—as they are from blue-collar laborers. And they account for over 40 percent of America's workforce." [ [ : books ] ]

The color gold applies to these workers because they are highly skilled. [ [ World Wide Words: Gold-collar worker ] ] When Kelley's book was published in 1985, these were typically understood as being young, college-educated, and specialized.

ee also

* White-collar workers
* Blue-collar workers
* Pink-collar workers
* Green-collar workers
* Grey-collar workers
* McJob


External links

* [ Book Summary of Gold-Collar Worker]
* [ World Wide Words with the definition of Gold collar worker]
* [ USA Today on the young working class]
* [ Article by Contact Professional Magazine on Gold-Collar Workers]

Additional reading

*Robert E. Kelley. 1985. The Gold-Collar Worker: Harnessing the Brainpower of the New Work Force. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-11739-8

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • gold-collar worker — /goʊld kɒlə ˈwɜkə/ (say gohld koluh werkuh) noun a person with high level skills which are not specific to a particular area and are therefore transferable between different work environments …   Australian English dictionary

  • gold-collar worker — /ˌgəυld ˌkɒlə wɜ:kə/ noun an employee who earns a very high salary and bonuses …   Dictionary of banking and finance

  • Gold collar — may refer to * a chain of gold, worn round the neck, also known as a livery collar, in Europe. * Gold collar worker, a modern American term for a type of worker, usually without a college degree or clear career path …   Wikipedia

  • White-collar worker — The term white collar worker refers to a salaried professional who performs semi professional office, administrative, and sales coordination tasks, as opposed to a blue collar worker, whose job requires manual labor. White collar work is an… …   Wikipedia

  • Blue-collar worker — A blue collar worker is a member of the working class who performs manual labor and earns an hourly wage. Blue collar workers are distinguished from those in the service sector and from white collar workers, whose jobs are not considered manual… …   Wikipedia

  • Pink-collar worker — désigne une partie de la main d’œuvre féminine. Le terme peut se traduire par « employée à col rose ». Les métiers pink collar sont déroulent dans un environnement relativement propre et calme, ce sont traditionnellement des métiers… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Green-collar worker — A green collar worker is a worker who is employed in the environmental sectors of the economy, or in the agricultural sector. Environmental green collar workers satisfy the demand for green development. Generally, they implement environmentally… …   Wikipedia

  • Pink-collar worker — A pink collar worker works in a job that is considered traditionally female (these traditions generally harking back to the first half of the twentieth century). The term is formed by an analogy to blue collar and white collar .The term… …   Wikipedia

  • Collar workers — Groups of workers are sometimes referred to be the characteristics of their uniforms or clothing. Blue collar workers are so named because they tended to wear sturdy, inexpensive clothing that didn t show dirt easily, such as blue denim or… …   Wikipedia

  • worker — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. laborer, workman; artisan, craftsman; operator, doer, performer; journeyman, yeoman; Trojan; drudge; mechanic; toiler, moiler. See exertion. II (Roget s IV) n. Syn. operator, mechanic, machinist,… …   English dictionary for students

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